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Coronavirus / Over 40 fines issued for coronavirus breaches since April

Photo: Shetland News

THE POLICE have issued 42 fixed penalty tickets for coronavirus breaches since 1 April.

The update was given by chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch at a meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board on Thursday.

He reiterated in terms of fining people that “we only do that when absolutely necessary”.

Tulloch said this usually relates to incidents like house parties.

“It’s all about keeping people safe, protecting the community and protecting the NHS,” he said.

Councillor Moraig Lyall asked what the compliance was like with people not paying the fines, with Tulloch responding that the police force had not been informed of anyone dodging paying out.

Tulloch also gave an update on crime figures for April to the year to date.

He said that incidences of reported domestic abuse were up by 16 compared to the same period last year, from 74 to 90.

Lyall said it was “sad” to see the number rise, suggesting fears over domestic abuse during the pandemic have come to fruition.

Tulloch did note that with work ongoing on around domestic abuse “victims have been able to come forward”.

Board chairman councillor Alastair Cooper added that domestic abuse was something that “really concerned” him as it can be hidden at home.

Tulloch said the response to instances of domestic abuse and sexual crimes is “very much victim focused”, offering support even if it does not end up in a criminal investigation at the person’s request.

The number of drink drivers also increased by four compared to last year, rising from nine to 13.

With less people out and about, and restricted hospitality, the pandemic has continued to positively affect figures for a number of crimes like common assaults, vandalism and shoplifting.

Highlands and Islands chief superintendent Conrad Tickett also told the meeting that investment would be forthcoming over the next two financial years for the properties the police use in Shetland.

Cooper welcomed the news, saying it was a “long running saga”.

Tulloch was also asked by south mainland councillor Allison Duncan why Police Scotland does not fund the local charity Dogs Against Drugs.

He said the police force do provide help which is not technically financial – such as office space, training and welfare – and gave high praise to the initiative.